This picture has nothing to do with the content of this post, I just like it. Okay, on to the real stuff…
As a blogger, you wouldn’t think I would be someone who’s concerned about my personal life staying private. And that’s mostly true! After all, I’m the one who chooses to publish my life updates and share my innermost thoughts. So why am I posting about my privacy? Well for one, it’s been the topic of discussion in my mass communications class and I was very intrigued by it. And two, I’ve sort of kept a recent part of my life private and I think I like it.
I view my blog as a form of expression, and almost as a journal. That’s the reason I created it in the first place. My goal wasn’t to gain a bunch of followers or to have a themed blog that everyone envies. My goal was to make it me, and to make it as real as possible. More importantly, I wanted a place to be able to look back at my life whenever I wanted. Thus, Life in Letters was born! (well technically, my original blog was called Just Trust Me, but that’s beside the point) This might sound a little silly, but despite how painfully public this blog is, I feel safe. I feel safe sharing my feelings and photos and ideas. This is dumb, I know. I guess I feel this way because the only people reading my writing are people who are actually interested, and if you are then I don’t mind you reading my personal thoughts! However, I’ve recently learned in Mass Comm that it’s not quite this simple. (don’t tune out just because I mentioned a class!)
We discussed the incident involving Edward Snowden, who leaked classified information from the NSA that revealed just how closely the government watches us as citizens. The government requires large communication companies– such as Apple, Yahoo, and AT&T– to hand over their customers’ data to the NSA. Yahoo refused to do this since they believed the request was unconstitutional, and the government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 dollars a day for disobeying the government. Woah. So now there are some obvious questions that have risen:
Is it okay for the government to have access to our private information as long as they’re protecting us?
What is the government actually doing with our information?
I feel like there are several factors that influence an answer to these questions, but my main concern is this: Why are the citizens unaware that the government has their private information? When I share some of the facts written above to my friends, they are in complete shock. They have no idea the government is doing this–like most of America– and it was this specific reason that Edward Snowden exposed what he did. The government of course views him as a traitor, and he would be charged as one if he ever returned to America. (He’s currently located in Russia) So, is Snowden a traitor? Or did he simply expose something that the government wanted kept secret?
The government also tells us that accessing our private information (such as phone calls, text messages, emails, etc) helps keep us safe, which I’m certain is true to an extent. But how far should this go? Where’s the line. What’s really my business??
I don’t know all the answers, but I do want people to know. Information is power, folks!